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Urban trees enhance water infiltration
Date:11/19/2008

for trees. In this study, green ash trees increased the average infiltration rate by 27 fold compared with unplanted controls. In the experiment, a structural soil reservoir (CUSoil, Amereq Corp., New York) was separated from compacted clay loam subsoil (1.6 g cm‑3) by a woven geotextile in 102-liter containers. The roots of ash trees planted in the structural soil penetrated both the geotextile and the subsoil within two years.

"Although we observed many roots penetrating the geotextile, roots really proliferated where there was a slight tear in the fabric," said Susan Day, the project's lead investigator. "Manipulating root penetration through these separation geotextiles could potentially play a large role in bioretention system function and design, especially since the potentially saturated soils beneath detention reservoirs may have reduced soil strength, increasing opportunities for root growth by some species."

Structural soil reservoirs may thus provide new opportunities for meeting engineering, environmental, and greenspace management needs in urban areas. Further research is needed on the effects of tree roots and detention time on water quality in structural soils. Monitoring continues at four demonstration sites around the country and updated information is posted as it becomes available at www.cnr.vt.edu/urbanforestry/stormwater.


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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@agronomy.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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